When I first heard a suggestion that Scottish footballers playing for Great Britain had refused to sing God Save the Queen as a matter of principle, I thought it sounded like wishful thinking. But of course the story was perfectly true, so all credit to Kim Little and Ifeoma Dieke. I'm sure most of us wish they hadn't ignored the SFA's pleas not to take part in the GB Olympic team in the first place, but they've certainly restored some Scottish pride by their actions on Wednesday. I haven't heard whether they stuck to their guns in the second game, but let's hope they weren't browbeaten into singing what Little clearly regards as a foreign anthem.
According to the Daily Mail, the BOA are outraged by the duo's actions. Well, that's a remarkable coincidence, because "outraged" is exactly what most Scottish football supporters are with the British Uniformity Fascists at the BOA for playing fast and loose with Scotland's status as an independent footballing nation. So now we're all united in feeling precisely the same emotion - isn't the Olympics wonderful?
Prize for the most absurd on-the-record reaction, however, goes to Fatima Whitbread -
"I think it’s a poor show if you are competing under a British flag and you don’t feel proud to be British.
It’s fine for you to believe in Scottish independence and to have your own beliefs – there has always been a bit of a rivalry – but if you are competing under a British flag you need to feel British."
So it's "fine" for athletes to have their own political beliefs - just so long as they give up any hope of competing in the Olympics. That's what she means, make no mistake about it - there's no option for Scots to compete at the Games under any other flag than the British one, so the Fatima Principle means that at least 30-40% of the entire Scottish population would be rendered ineligible at a stroke.
But of course it's even worse than that, because there's no indication at all that Kim Little is actually pro-independence. If anything, her decision to participate in Team GB suggests she might be a unionist. Question : if the BOA's version of Britishness isn't even inclusive enough to accommodate the instincts of mainstream, moderate Scottish unionism, isn't it the case that they are only interested in a Team GB that represents an imaginary Britain, rather than the one we actually live in?
A Team GB that truly aspires to represent all Britons would by definition be consciously and full-bloodedly representing a large number of people who want to end the United Kingdom, who are left cold by the Union Jack, and who regard God Save the Queen as an alien anthem. That's how big the tent needs to be - and that's the distance by which the BOA are utterly failing in their duty to the territory they purport to serve.